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The Contentment of Esau

The Contentment of Esau

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
REV. SAMUEL HORSFALL

Genesis xxxiii. 9.
I have enough, my brother, keep that thou hast unto
thyself.
REV. SAMUEL HORSFALL

Genesis xxxiii. 9.
I have enough, my brother, keep that thou hast unto
thyself.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 21, 2014
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03/21/2014

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THE CONTENTMENT OF ESAUREV. SAMUEL HORSFALLGenesis xxxiii. 9. I have enough, my brother, keep that thou hast unto thyself. Could I find a subject better calculated to pro-mote your temporal felicity, than the one which the words I have read to you suggest; I would recommend it with all the earnestness in my power, as from it must spring all the happiness you can enjoy in your respective stations. The history of the person who made the declara-tion in the text, is singular in its kind, and deserves our notice, as he was not always of that satisfied disposition which the words denote: it will furnish us also with some reflections on that remarkable difference of opinion men entertain on the same 168 SERMON XII. subject, in the different seasons of prosperity and
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adversity. . Esau was the eldest of the twin sons of Isaac; but in an unguarded moment, despising his birth-right, he sold it to his younger brother Jacob, to satify the momentary cravings of hunger, and con-firmed the indiscreet bargain with an irrevocable oath. For this contempt of his privileges as the first-born, and for his profaneness in solemnly swearing to the absolute disposal of them, and on so slight a consideration, God allowed his brother to supplant him in the paternal blessing, though fraudently obtained, at his fond mother*s instiga-tion, from the dying patriarch Isaac: which bless-ing had many sacred and valuable privileges an-nexed to it, founded on the promises of God to the faithful Abraham, the father of a race, in whose descendants the promised seed should be preserved, in whom, ^' all the nations of the earth should be '' blessed/^ In the patriarchal ages, a double portion of the paternal inheritance belonged to the eldest son. To him likewise appertained the right of rule and
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SERMON XII. 189 government over the family, and especially the honour of priesthood, which, prior to the promul-gation of the Mosaical law, rested in the first-born of every family, in parents, in princes, in kings, who always exercised the office of priest, and of-fered their own sacrifices. Esau, therefore, by disposing of his birth-right, renounced these privileges, and regardless of the covenant which God had made with his forefather Abraham, he took to himself two wives from the Hittites, Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Bashe-math, the daughter of Elon, " which were a grief '* of mind unto Isaac and Rebecca.'* But when he found that Jacob had supplanted him in the paternal blessing pronounced by his father Isaac on his death-bed, he then perceived the error he had committed in selling his birth-right, and he shed tears, not of compunction, but of vexation at his folly ; and he determined to slay his brother as soon as the days of mourning for his father should arrive. Learning however that Ja-
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